Wild America: About The Filmmakers

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Director WILLIAM DEAR won his first of many professional awards when he was only 20 years old with his short film, "Mr. Gray," which he co-wrote and directed. "Mr. Gray" won the Special Jury Gold Medal Award at the first Atlantic Film Festival. He continued writing and directing feature films, shorts, rock videos and commercials, many of which garnered him more awards and recognition for his diverse talents.

His first feature film as co-writer and director, "Timerider, the Adventure of Lynn Swann" won Grand Prize at the 1984 Santa Fe Film Festival. Dear's next feature as a co-writer/director, "Harry and the Hendersons," received the Genesis Award as Best Comedy Film in 1987 and as the Best Family Film from the British Video Association.

Dear went on to direct the feature films "If Looks Could Kill" and "Angels in the Outfield." He co-wrote "The Rocketeer."

Shortly after Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" television anthology premiered, Dear directed Spielberg's story "Mummy-Daddy." The comedy episode later became part of the "Amazing Stories" movie, a trilogy of stories directed by Dear, Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis.

Dear's work for television includes the pilots for the hit show "Dinosaurs," created by Jim Henson, and the medieval action-adventure comedy, "Covington Cross."

Dear has also received nine Cleo nominations for commercial work, including Best Director.

Producer JAMES G. ROBINSON is founder, Chairman and CEO of the Morgan Creek group of companies. He was recently named Producer of the Year by the National Association of Theatre Owners.

The Maryland resident built early careers in photography and the automotive industry before entering the film business in 1984 as producer (with Joe Roth) of "The Stone Boy," starring Robert Duvall and Glenn Close. He served next as producer of "Where the River Runs Black" and "Streets of Gold." The latter film was directed by Roth, his eventual partner in the founding of Morgan Creek Productions.

Morgan Creek has since become one of Hollywood's leading independent film entities, with "Young Guns" and "Young Guns II," "Dead Ringers," "Major League" and Major League II," "Enemies, A Love Story," the 1991 blockbuster "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," "The Crush," "True Romance," the two break-out comedy hits, "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" and "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls," "Two If By Sea" and "Diabolique" among its list of releases.

Producer IRBY SMITH's list of producing credits includes the films "Angels in the Outfield," "City Slickers," "Young Guns II" and "Major League." He was executive producer on "Rookie of the Year" and co-producer on "Enemies, A Love Story" and "Young Guns."

Smith served as assistant director on numerous films including "Stand By Me," "Moon Over Parador," "Blume in Love," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Summer of '42" and "Brewster McCloud." Smith began his film career as a DGA trainee on Robert Altman's theatrical feature, "M*A*S*H."

The numerous educational and industrial films he wrote, produced and directed for CRM/McGraw Hill Productions earned him several Cine Golden Eagles and International Film Festival awards.

Following completion of "Wild America," Smith began production on two feature films: the sequel to "Angels in the Outfield" and "Pre," the story of runner Steve Prefontaine.

Producer MARK STOUFFER has distinguished himself not only as one of the world's premiere wildlife documentarians, but also as a writer, producer and director of outstanding entertainment programming for film and television. He was director, producer and writer of the theatrical release "Man Outside," starring Kathleen Quinlan and Bradford Dillman.

Stouffer's television credits include numerous John Denver specials, including "Music and the Mountains," "The Higher We Fly" and "Rocky Mountain Reunion." His National Geographic specials as director/producer include "Tigers of the Snow," "Secrets of the Wild Panda" and "Braving Alaska"; he also served as director of "Survivors of the Skeleton Coast." He was also a contributing director of the PBS series "Marty Stouffer's Wild America" for 11 years.

Stouffer's dozens of awards include the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Factual Television, a Best of Category Gold Medal from the San Francisco International Film Festival, a Red Ribbon Award from the American Film Festival, New York, and an award for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking from the Denver International Film Festival.

Executive producer GARY BARBER is Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Creek Productions as well as President of Morgan Creek International. He also supervises all Morgan Creek financial, business and legal affairs, including distribution activities.

Barber has executive produced numerous Morgan Creek films, including "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," "Major League II," "True Romance," "The Crush," "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," "Young Guns II" and "Pacific Heights." Most recently, he served as executive producer on the box office hit, "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls," starring Jim Carrey, and "Diabolique."

Prior to joining Morgan Creek, Barber was President of Vestron International Group, responsible for distributing such successful films as "Dirty Dancing," "The Princess Bride" and Morgan Creek's "Young Guns" in foreign territories.

Executive Producer STEVE TISCH won the Academy Award for "Forrest Gump," which received six Oscars including Best Picture.

Since his formation of The Steve Tisch Company in 1986, Tisch has produced memorable projects for both television and film. Along with "Forrest Gump," his films include "Soul Man," "Hot to Trot," "Big Business," "Heart of Dixie," "Heart Condition," "Bad Influence" and "Corrina, Corrina."

At age 22, Tisch became a production executive at Columbia Pictures and supervised production on films including "The Lords of Flatbush," "Tommy" and "The Last Detail."

As an independent producer, his first motion picture was "Outlaw Blues." He then teamed with Jon Avnet, and together they were involved in television projects such as "Silence of the Heart," "Something So Right," "Prime Suspect," "Homeward Bound" and "No Other Love." They also produced the television movie and subsequent series, "Call to Glory." Tisch and Avnet were also responsible for the acclaimed telvision film, "The Burning Bed," which received 11 Emmy nominations and won numerous other awards.

Tisch/Avnet's feature projects include the sleeper hit, "Risky Business," "Deal of the Century" and "Coast to Coast."

Executive producer BILL TODMAN, JR. is head of production for Morgan Creek Productions. For nine years, he was an independent producer with credits such as "Married to the Mob" and "Hard to Kill." Most recently, Todman served as executive producer on Morgan Creek's "Two If By Sea" and "Diabolique."

Screenwriter DAVID MICHAEL WIEGER has his first produced screenplay in "Wild America." A veteran of theater, his plays have included "A Balance of Hunger," "The Gentlemen's Club" and "Cows and Other American Heroes." His spec script "Ziggy" earned him a spot at the Sundance Writers Lab. He is currently at work on "Frequent Flyer" for Disney Television and "Hawaii 5-O," which Steve Tisch will produce for Hollywood Pictures.

DAVID BURR was Director of Photography on "The Phantom," "Race The Sun" and "Those Dear Departed." He worked as second unit director of photography on "Beyond Rangoon," "Deception" and "The Mosquito Coast."

Production designer STEVEN JORDAN began as a set decorator and then as art director before serving as production designer on "Clueless," "The Brady Bunch Movie," "Rookie of the Year" and "Untamed Heart."

Editor O. NICHOLAS BROWN lists among his film credits "The Phantom," "Operation Dumbo Drop," "Free Willy," "Hearts and Souls," "City Slickers" and "The Accused."

Composer JOEL McNEELY's list of credits includes the recent releases "Vegas Vacation" and "Flipper." Other titles include "Terminal Velocity," "Radioland Murders," "Iron Will," and both "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" and "Tiny Toons Adventures" for television.

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